Waka hourua sets out on plastic tour of East Coast

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Waka hourua Te Matau a Māui want a ban on single-use plastics and are embarking on a PURE (Plastics Use Resistance Education) Tour.

It will be a month long tour trawling the east coast for microplastics in an effort to understand the pollution problem on the East Coast.

"This device [trawler] allows to study how many particles are there per sqaure kilometre of the ocean we'll get that research and we'll understand the impact of plastics in New Zealand waters," says Marcus Eriksen, Environmental Scientist for 5 Gyers Institute.

He is one of a small team of scientists from Los Angeles who will be onboard the waka collecting data to under how much microplastics are in the water, in the sealife and can make their way into humans.

The PURE tour will  travel around different parts of New Zealand's East Coast holding workshops around plastics in the ocean.

"We've never done this before actually it's never been done in Aotearoa before so we're the first and we're very honoured to have some really top level scientists with us helping us carry this kaupapa," says waka captain Raihania Tipoki.

The data will be collected and analysed onboard by the scientists while they are here in New Zealand and will be released in due course.